Did you know your cell phone can be a risk to your health? This is according to 2010 study by World Health Organization, which grouped mobile wireless communication as a possible cause of brain cancer. This potential health risk is linked to the radio-frequency waves emitted by the cell phones.
Mobile phones use radio-frequency (RF) signals to send both voice and data. During a phone call the mobile device uses these signals to link to a base station, hence establishing flow of information between the user and the other person being called. Mobile base stations are inter-connected forming a cellular network, and they send and receive these signals. The base station usually transmits low power signals to mobile phones within the cell and this is shown by the signal availability symbol on the handset.
In mobile telephony technology, there are two ways by which you can be exposed to cell phone radiation. The first being, the closeness of mobile base station to your neighborhood and the second exposure is the mobile handset. Mobile phones are essentially, low powered radio-frequency transmitters with power levels of about 2 watts. The exposure standard of radio-frequency from mobile phones is measured as the Specific Absorption Rate (SAR), which is set at 2W/Kg and are common feature in user manuals of mobile phones. The SAR level provides an important guide for safe calling. Let us begin with the issue of SAR as our first point on how to protect yourself from mobile phone radiation.
Tips on How to reduce cell phone radiation:
- It's advisable to use low specific absorption (SAR) rate phones. These rate indicates how much radiation your body will absorb from the phone when the mobile device is sending a signal. The higher the SAR, the greater the amount of radiation, that will end-up in your head during a call. The SAR figure for your phone (for e.g. the iPhone 4’s SAR is 1.17 W/kg), is important although the real exposure will depend on other factors like the duration of the call and the network connectivity.
- Minimize phone contact with body. The mobile phone radiation is highly absorbed when the phone is closer to the head or nearer to soft tissues such as the cheek. It's recommended that you keep the gadget at specified distance from the head. User manuals of models such as iPhone, Blackberry and Motorola have guidelines on how far the gadgets can be held away from the body. Generally, you are advised to reduce the level of body contact when the gadget is in transmitting mode.
- Listen more, text more and talk less. The mobile phone emits more radiation when you are talking compared to listening to a voice call. Also, phones use less power when texting messages unlike during voice calls. therefore, texting not only keeps the phone away from the ears, but also reduces the general exposure to radiation. In case you prefer talking, your best bet is to use the wired handset or speakerphone feature. Choose either a hollow tube handset or one with a ferrite bead to absorb radiation. Bluetooth earpieces will expose you to some radiation. However, they emit much less radiation than phones.
- It's advisable to limit phone use by children since, their level of absorption of mobile radiation is twice as much as that of adult.